Do healthy food adverts have the same effect on everyone?

BananasIn two laboratory studies, we found that presenting mock adverts for healthier foods:

  • Increased preferences for fruit over less healthy snacks in those who were more educated and who were hungry at the time of doing the study;
  • But did not alter preferences in those who were less educated or who weren’t hungry.


Widespread use of such adverts could serve to widen health inequalities by increasing preferences for healthier food only among those who already tend to make healthier food choices.

Priming healthy eating. You can’t prime all the people all of the time. Forwood, Ahern, Hollands, Ng & Marteau. 2015.

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